Adopting a 17 year old, illegal alien
We would like to adopt a 17 year old Mexican boy (illegal alien). We are his legal gaurdians and we have begun the paper work for adoption but have gotten the idea that both his age and his residency status could be a problem. We live in Colorado.

1. Is his age a problem? 2. If we do adopt him will his legal status change? 3. Is there a legal alternative to adoption that would allow us to include him on our health insurance and would allow him to stay in Colorado and attend college after high school? One person mentioned Long Term Legal Gaurdianship but I haven't been able to find anything out about this process.

Thanks.
Adopting Illegal Alien
Originally Posted By Linda Lach

Question: We would like to adopt a 17 year old Mexican boy (illegal alien). We are his legal gaurdians and we have begun the paper work for adoption but have gotten the idea that both his age and his residency status could be a problem. We live in Colorado.

1. Is his age a problem? 2. If we do adopt him will his legal status change? 3. Is there a legal alternative to adoption that would allow us to include
him on our health insurance and would allow him to stay in Colorado and attend college after high school? One person mentioned Long Term Legal Gaurdianship but I haven't been able to find anything out about this process.

Answer: Adopting the young man will not change his immigration status. Some courts will not even allow an adoption to take place at all, if it becomes clear that he is illegal. As his birth certificate will have to be provided to the court, it will be clear that he was born in Mexico. The court can then ask for proof of his legal residency, which you can't provide. You may end up with having him deported because of your attempt to adopt him.

His age is an issue in the sense that even if he were in Mexico, you could not adopt him and bring him into the country under the usual adoption provision, as that stops at 16. (And, he would have to be an orphan as that term is defined by the INS.) But, he will soon be an adult, and adult adoptions don't require the consent of birth parents, generally. So his age may be a benefit, in that sense.

You said that you are his legal guardians - is that not sufficient for your health insutrance company?

I suggest you contact an immigration lawyer where you are, and if he or she suggests it, then an adoption attorney. But at this point, I think immigration is more of an issue than adoption. Adoption will not solve his residency problem, and may cause more harm than good, by bringing him to the attention of the authorities.
13 Years Later Adopting Illegal Aliens
Feb-2012. Although the Question was asked back in 1999 the Answer regarding adoption of an illegal alien is: (i.) It depends on what state you live in; (ii.) it depends on what attorney you consult: family law v. immigration law.

I happen to live in the State of New York where you could ask 5 different attorneys this question and I guarantee you'll get 3 who will say "no" based on federal laws and 2 who would say "yes" based on state laws.

Regrettably, I listened to one who said, no. Fast forward 5 years and I learned from an attorney who specialized in Family Law that we could have adopted a 18 year old illegal alien- even now as an adult in Family Court.

Thus, even if one is here illegally in the US, if you live in NYS you can petition a NY Supreme Court for the adoption. Currently there are no Administrative Rules of the courts in NY that require the judge to turn an illegal alien over to Home Land Security. In fact, unless it's changed this is true even in federal courts.

Please bear in mind and always remember that our courts are an institution of government, run by human beings that have their own opinions, political agenda and plenary power that allows one to over step their authority. Hence, always hire an attorney who is practicing the area of law in question and more importantly knows the court (judges) legal position on the matter at hand. On such delicate matters a good attorney needs to "explore" or "feel" out the courts political and legal position.

In-any-event, I learned that in NY you can legally adopt an illegal alien. I also learned that IF everything is in order and the court accpets your Petition it will instruct the Department of Health to issue a NYS Birth Certifcate with "NOT FOR CITIZENSHIP" marked on it. Although it doesn't resovle the immigration issue, you can now legally obtain a license, a social security card and live at home with Mom and Dad.

CONCLUSION: know your state law; know your attorney; and know your judge.

Good luck.
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